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Mahabharata Podcast

This podcast is for anyone interested in the epic literature of India, its spiritual philosophy, the life & background of Krishna, or any of the fascinating stories of the great epic the Mahabharata.

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audio 101

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TOPIC
Krishna 19
Bhisma 10
Arjun 9
Karna 9
Duryodhana 8
Kurukshetra 8
Bhima 7
Ashwatthaman 5
Pandavas 5
Rama Jamadagnya 5
Vyasa 5
Abhimanyu 4
Arjuna 4
Draupadi 4
Indra 4
Kunti 4
Mahabharata 4
Markandeya 4
Parashurama 4
Parikshit 4
Balaram 3
Balarama 3
Dhrtarastra 3
Durvasas 3
Gatotkacha 3
Jayadratha 3
Kamsa 3
Krpa 3
Narada 3
Sanjay 3
Satyavati 3
Shiva 3
Sikhandin 3
Vimana 3
Virata 3
Yuyutsu 3
Agastya 2
Alambusha 2
Amba 2
Astika 2
Bhagavad Gita 2
Bhakti 2
Bhimasena 2
Buddhism 2
Cyavana 2
Dhrstadyumna 2
Drona 2
Drupad 2
Dushasan 2
Indraprastha 2
Jarasandh 2
Kauravas 2
Kubera 2
Nahusha 2
Nar-Narayan 2
Panchala 2
Puru 2
Rukmi 2
Rukmini 2
Samvarta 2
Santanu 2
Satyabhama 2
Shakuni 2
Shalva 2
Shalya 2
Sishupal 2
Sukanya 2
Uttara 2
Vasudeva 2
Vasuki 2
Vidur 2
Yaksha 2
Yayati 2
Yudhistira 2
Agneya 1
Ancient India 1
Anga 1
Anugita 1
Aranyaka Parva 1
Arstisena 1
Ashwamedha 1
Barghava 1
Bharata 1
Bhrgu 1
Bhurishravas 1
Brahma-head 1
Brhadashva 1
Brhaspati 1
Channeling 1
Charvaka 1
Citrangada 1
Daityas 1
Daksha 1
Damayanti 1
Danavas 1
Daruka 1
Daushasani 1
Devaki 1
Devayani 1
Dhananjaya 1
Dharma 1
Dhritarastra 1
Dice Game 1
Draupadeyas 1
Drona Parva 1
Drupada 1
Dushanta 1
Dvapar 1
Dvaparyuga 1
Dyaus 1
Epic 1
False Vasudev 1
Ganga 1
Gautama 1
Ghandara 1
Ghandari 1
Ghandiva Bow 1
Ghatotkacha 1
Gopi 1
Gudakesha 1
Gunas 1
Hanuman 1
India 1
Iravat 1
Janaka 1
Janamejaya 1
Janemejaya 1
Jantu 1
Jaratkaru 1
Joseph Selbie 1
Kali 1
Kalinga 1
Kaliyuga 1
Kanva 1
Kanyaka forest 1
Karma Yoga 1
Kaurava 1
Kaushika 1
Kicaka 1
Krtavarman 1
Kuru 1
Lomasha 1
Madhusudana 1
Madri 1
Magadha 1
Mahabharat 1
Maitreya 1
Mandhatar 1
Manimat 1
Manipur 1
Marutta 1
Matali 1
Mithila 1
Mountain Man 1
Mudgala 1
Naimisha Forest 1
Nakula 1
Nala 1
Narayana 1
Nivatakavacas 1
Panchali 1
Pandu 1
Partha 1
Parvata 1
Podcast 1
Pradyumna 1
Precession 1
Radha 1
Rajadharman 1
Rajasuya 1
Rakshasa 1
Rama Dasharathi 1
Ramayana 1
Rshyashrnga 1
Sachi 1
Sahadev 1
Samba 1
Sanatsujata 1
Sarmishta 1
Satayupa 1
Satyaka 1
Satyaki 1
Saubha 1
Saubha Vimana 1
Saumakas 1
Savitri 1
Shakuntala 1
Shukra 1
Sikhandi 1
Sindh 1
Snake Sacrifice 1
Sri Yukteshvar 1
Srngn 1
Subhadra 1
Sudeshna 1
Suka 1
Surya 1
Susharman 1
Suvarnashthivin 1
Svargarohanika Parva 1
SHOW DETAILS
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Vyasa finishes his comforting storytelling, and then vanishes, leaving it up to Yuddistira to deal with breaking the news to Arjun that his son is dead. Arjun comes home expecting a party, only to find the camp in mourning over the loss of his son. He responds by swearing to kill Jayadratha by sunset tomorrow. The Kauravas find out about his oath and hastily make plans to keep the prince safe long enough for Arjun's vow to fail. That is all it will take to get the Pandava out of the war! Now...
Topics: Kurukshetra, Vyasa, Arjun
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
431
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Krishna is dead. Balaram is dead. The city of Dwarka sinks beneath the waves, and the refugees of that once-great city are making their way to Indraprastha with only Arjun as their protector. But the influence of the Kali Yuga pervades the earth, and Arjun is not the man he once was. When the vulnerable procession is attacked by bandits, his magic quivers run out of arrows and his magical weapons no longer obey his command. Only a fragment is saved, along with Krishna's grandson Vajra, who is...
Topics: Arjun, Indraprastha, Vajra, Vyasa
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
492
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The further adventures of young Krishna. This time we cover his youth and teenage years. He kills a bunch of demons, imitates every boy in the clan plus all the calves, kicks Indra's butt, and then compels the girls to emerge naked from the river to retrieve their clothing-- all in the name of religion of course! He promises to each one of them that he will make love to them before the end of Autumn, and next episode, he'll make good on it!
Topics: Krishna, Kamsa, Balaram, Indra
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
602
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We finally get started with Krishna. His mother and father were both of the house of Yadu in Mathura-- Krishna's mother Devaki was King Ugrasena's daughter. Unfortunately, Devaki's brother, Crown Prince Kamsa was a bad guy, and he got an early warning that his sister's eighth child would be the death of him. After a palace coup, King Kamsa threw Devaki and Vasudeva into prison and killed their first six babies as soon as they were born. The seventh child, Balaram, was magically transported into...
Topics: Balarama, Devaki, Kamsa, Krishna, Vasudeva
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
309
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Two significant deaths this episode-- first Gatotkacha basically gets sacrificed by Krishna so that Arjun need not face Karna's special unstoppable Indra Dart. It's a mean trick, but Krishna explained that one of the purposes of this war is to eradicate the race of Rakshasas, so if they didn't have Karna kill him, then they would have had to do it themselves. Besides, it was a small price to pay in order to save Arjun for the final showdown. The second big shot to go down is their old guru...
Topics: Ashwatthaman, Drona, Gatotkacha
Let's admit it, we were all impatient for this war to get started. Like the characters in the story, we concluded many episodes back that there was never going to be a peaceful solution, and it would take nothing less than a massive bloodletting to make sure the bad guys were punished and the good guys got their rightful honors. But now that the war has started, those frustrating days of exile in the forest are looking more attractive. Sure, we all feel that Duryodhana deserves a good kick in...
Topics: Bhisma, Kurukshetra, Arjuna
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
314
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Krishna returns from his mission to Hastinpur with war on his mind. Yuddistira, having spent the last 12-14 years undergoing massive hardship to prevent this war, is reluctant to accept this truth. He begs for more information, trying to find any way out of this situation. So Krishna obliges by giving us the details of a few more speeches made in the Kuru court, but none of it helps. War is truly inevitable. So both sides round up their armies and march on Kurukshetra. When they arrive, each...
Topics: Bhisma, Drupad, Kurukshetra
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
339
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We get treated to a last handful of the Final Teachings, and then Bhisma dies. The poor guy set quite an objective for himself. It must have been mid autumn when he was shot through with arrows, yet he clung to life until the Winter Solstice before finally giving up the ghost. He says he lived on the bed of arrows for a total of 58 days. Following his death, Yuddistira has another one of his fits of sorrow & regret, but he's snapped out of it by hearing a story about how the ancient king...
Topics: Bhisma, Brhaspati, Ganga, Marutta, Samvarta
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
335
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Despite the offensive raid on their camp by Jayadratha, old Markandeya is still hanging out with the Pandavas. Yuddistira, feeling sorry for himself and for Draupadi, goes to him for consolation. Markandeya replies with the entire story of the Ramayana. I've spared you the re-telling of that epic, since it would have us out on a sidetrack for possibly months, and, really, the Ramayana deserves a podcast of its own, right? So, jumping over that chapter, we find ourselves back where we were;...
Topics: Rama Dasharathi, Ramayana, Savitri
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
317
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So this is it; the moment everyone has been waiting for. Ever since Episode 7 when Duryodhana was born, he has finally received his well-deserved defeat. But even as he falls, the finger pointing, hand-wringing and grief at the price that has been paid for this victory has already begun. Balaram shows up just in time to referee the final death match between Bhima & Duryodhana, only to get really annoyed when Bhima is forced to bend the rules a bit in order to win.
Topics: Duryodhana, Balaram, Bhima
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
496
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Things get hot and heavy this episode, when Krishna plays a tune on his magic flute and all the girls come running. The association of religious devotion with carnal love is found in Sikhism, Sufi Islam and even mystical Christianity. I've always suspected that the idea was born in India as Bhakti and then gradually made its way westward through the Islamic world and finally into Western Christianity. It would be an interesting study-- the timelines certainly fit! Next episode, we'll get back...
Topics: Krishna, Radha, Gopi
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
1,091
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Arjun returns home with some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that they have lost their powers and have lost their friends. The good news is that they finally get to retire. Yudhistira doesn't hesitate. He strips off his fine garments and leads his brothers into retirement. Krpa is put in charge of defense, Yuyutsu is made regent, and Parikshit is king. Parikshit's grandmother Subhadra (Krishna's sister) is made Dowager Empress. The Pandavas then take a final tour of India, visiting...
Topics: Dharma, dog, Indra, Krpa, Parikshit, Subhadra, Yuyutsu
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
347
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Sanjay's mission clearly did not accomplish much, so this time Krishna offers to go to Hastinapur as the Pandavas' chief negotiator. When the Kauravas hear he is coming, Dhrtarastra plans on bribing him, while Duryodhana hopes to imprison him. Krishna senses all the bad vibes and decides to only stay & eat with Vidur. He also visits with the Pandavas' poor widowed mother Kunti, whom he tries to console. Surprisingly, Kunti blames her father for all her suffering. Kunti's father, Sura, was...
Topics: Durvasas, Krishna, Kunti
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
315
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This episode begins the voluminous Last Teachings of Bhisma. As Bhisma lies on his bed of arrows, the Pandavas, Krishna & Satyaki gather around to listen. Yuddistira poses the questions, which mostly revolve around Dharma and kingship, and Bhisma answers. These teachings are exceptionally difficult to convey in the form of a podcast, mostly because they are so boring. There are very few stories, and most of the stories revolve around conversations in which one character instructs the other...
Topic: Bhisma
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
1,246
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Vaisampayana begins telling the Mahabharata, beginning by telling us that Vyasa spent three years daily working on the poem. Following that, we hear about the Fishy-Fragrant Satyavati and Vyasa's birth.
Topics: Mahabharata, Satyavati, Vaisampayana, Vyasa
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
381
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The four Pandavas who were left in the forest set off on a tour of the sacred sites of Ancient India, with the Sage Lomasha as their guide. At a stopover near the historic hermitage that once belonged to Agastya, we are treated to one of the stories about this fabled hermit. I have to confess to skipping a second story, because I simply couldn't make much sense of it. While it tangentially involved Agastya, it also involved King Sagara, whose wife gave birth to a pumpkin and he was advised to...
Topics: Agastya, Lomasha
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
303
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The fifth and sixth days of the great war. Arjun wipes out an army of 25,000, and we find out Satyaki has 10 fully grown sons. Soon after we learn about these sons, they get decapitated by King Bhurishravas. In return, Satyaki kills off the king's entire army, but the pair are too well-matched and both must be dragged off of the battlefield after sunset. Bhima can't resist an opportunity to kill more cousins, but risks getting himself killed or captured behind enemy lines. Dhrstadyumna rescues...
Topics: Abhimanyu, Arjun, Bhima, Bhurishravas, Dhrstadyumna, Satyaki
The Sage Markandeya continues with his storytelling. He begins with his own version of the Four Ages or Yugas. One interesting point is that in his reckoning, the Kali Yuga lasts 1,200 years in total. Since we are told elsewhere that the Kali Yuga began for us on the death of Krishna, then the Kali Yuga must have ended centuries ago, and we happy people have made it into the next Golden Age! After an apocalyptic vision of the future, Makandeya gives us the Tale of the Frog, which culminates in...
Topic: Markandeya
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
334
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0
It's deja-vu all over again, as the Pandavas move from the hermitage of Nar-Narayan to another one on the slopes of Mt Kailash, named for Arstisena. Another flower wafts down the hill, and Draupadi again sends Bhima off in search of the source. Bhima completely forgets Yuddistira's injunction about making trouble and he invades Kubera's kingdom, starting a war with the god's "genial leprechaun" army. There's no Hanuman this time around, but we do at least get an explanation for...
Topics: Agastya, Arstisena, Kubera, Manimat, Nivatakavacas, Vimana
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
319
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0
The brothers formally come out of hiding, and thick-headed Virata finally realizes he has been sheltering the famous Pandavas. To avoid any question of scandal, Virata's daughter is quickly married to Arjun's son, Abhimanyu. The allies are summoned for the wedding, and the brothers set up a temporary headquarters at Virata's second city, Upaplavya. This ends the book of Virata. Next time, we'll start the Udyoga Parva-- the Book of the Effort.
Topics: Abhimanyu, Udyoga, Uttara, Virata
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
147
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0
Two more stories from the Book of the Forest. The first involves another Bhrgu Brahmin with a Kshatriya wife. The second story, about Mahdhatar, is short, but interesting in how it differs from all the other stories we've had so far from Lomasha. The first story in this series, Nala, is about a King and his very loyal wife. The subsequent stories were by and large about Brahmins with very loyal (Kshatriya) wives. So each story so far has the element of an obedient wife despite hardship....
Topics: Barghava, Bhrgu, Cyavana, Mandhatar, Sukanya
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
343
0
0
This is another eventful episode. Krishna & Arjun take a break and go on a leisure trip to Indraprastha, where it appears Arjun is king. Both heroes have forgotten the Gita, so Krishna recalls another dialog along the same lines, which is called the Anugita. Krishna goes home, while the Pandavas go prospecting for gold in the hills. While they are away, Parkshit is born, or rather still-born. Krishna arrives in time to make good his promise and revives the kid. When the Pandavas return with...
Topics: Anugita, Citrangada, Manipur, Parikshit, Ulupi, Utanka, Uttara, Vabruvahana
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
318
0
0
This one covers Duryodhana's reaction to the humiliation of being captured by the Gandharvas and then released by the valor of his hated cousins the Pandavas. Unable to face his clan after the ignominious defeat, the prince resolves to sit down and starve himself to death. This decision sets off alarm bells in Hell, where the Daityas and Danavas have big plans for Duryodhana. They summon a genie and have her deliver Duryodhana to them, and they tell him about the cosmic nature of this conflict,...
Topics: Daityas, Danavas, Duryodhana, Karna, Vaishnava
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
640
0
0
This is the first of two episodes that take us from the death of the Pandavas down to the Snake Sacrifice, held by Arjun's great-grandson. We skimmed over this back at the beginning of the podcast, because back then we were unfamiliar with who all these people were. But now it makes sense to bring it around to the beginning again. Not much is recorded about the life of Parikshit. We only know about how he died, and the many snakes and Rishis who were involved in the process
Topics: Astika, Jaratkaru, Parikshit, Srngn, Vasuki
The continuing adventures of the Pandavas in the forest. The story picks up with Maitreya's curse and angry departure from the court at Hastinapur. Dhrtarastra, apparently tired of all the dire predictions decides it is time for a fight scene, and asks Vidur to tell the story of Bhima and Kirmira. Vidur then recites the battle scene as Bhima kills another Rakshasa. We then move back to the forest where a meeting of the Pandavas' allies is taking place, Krishna among them. Krishna and Arjun...
Topics: Saubha, Shalva, Vimana
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
319
0
0
The Pandavas have come out of hiding and are demanding their lands back from the Kauravas. Duryodhana has already indicated that he has no interest in giving these back, so it would be best to negotiate from a position of strength. An arms race ensues, with both sides scrambling to get commitments from their allies across India and beyond. Duryodhana wins the first couple of rounds at this game. He rushes to Dwaraka, and gets Krishna to commit his armies to the Kaurava side. The Pandavas get...
Topics: Indra, Nahusha, Sachi, Shalya
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
278
0
0
On the previous day, Duryodhana was quickly losing faith with his uncle. He began to suspect that Bhisma was throwing the contest in favor of the Pandavas. Karna didn't help any when he offered to take charge in place of the old man. So Duryodhana asked the old man to either fulfill his oaths or get out of the game. Now today, on the 9th day, Bhisma sets out to finish off his Dharma so he could move on to the next phase in his life. On the battlefield, he kills hundreds of thousands, including...
Topics: Kurukshetra, Bhisma, Arjun, Krishna, Duryodhana
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
346
0
0
Sanjay returns to Hastinapur with messages and intelligence from the Pandava camp. The king's charioteer delivers this information before the royal assembly, while Dhrarastra, Duryodhana, Bhisma and Karna argue over the significance of these threats. Having gone a good long while since Karna last washed his feet, the mess must have started getting to him, because he finally blows his top at Bhisma and swears he will not fight until Bhisma is dead. In the course of this debate, we get hints at...
Topics: Bhakti, Brahma-head, Karna, Parashurama, Sanjay, Sikhandin
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
306
0
0
Now that both sides are armed to the teeth and infested with vast armies, they are ready to talk peace terms. The Pandavas start the first round by sending Drupad's unnamed priest as their ambassador. This priest travels to Hastinapur and asks only for the terms of the Dice Game to be fulfilled. Dhrtarastra responds well enough, sending his Charioteer Sanjay as the returning ambassador. Sanjay's message is also for peace, but the terms are rather unacceptable. The Kauravas suggested that the...
Topics: Sanatsujata, Sanjay, Vidur
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
402
0
0
While Arjun remains in heaven, relaxing with his father Indra, news reaches the Kaurava court of Arjun's exploits. Dhrtarastra then has one of his bouts of regret while Sanjay scolds him for being so stupid. We then cut over to the rest of the Pandavas, who are still living off the dirt in the foothills of Dehra Dun. Bhima is ready to chop off some heads and he takes his frustration out on his elder brother. The sage Brhadashva then shows up with a story of a king who actually had it worse off...
Topics: Brhadashva, Damayanti, Nala
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
236
0
0
Two more stories from the Book of the Forest.  The first involves another Bhrgu Brahmin with a Kshatriya wife.  The second story, about Mahdhatar, is short, but interesting in how it differs from all the other stories we've had so far from Lomasha.The first story in this series, Nala, is about a King and his very loyal wife.  The subsequent stories were by and large about Brahmins with very loyal (Kshatriya) wives.  So each story so far has the element of an obedient wife despite hardship....
Topics: Sukanya, Cyavana
Mahabharata Podcast
350
0
0
A few more stories from Bhisma's final teachings. We learn that Vyasa had a son, named Suka, who really did not seem to be pleased to be born. And Bhisma himself tells us what he really thinks of Buddhist philosophy!
Topics: Buddhism, Janaka, Mithila, Suka
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
416
0
0
We follow Arjun's journey into the Himalayas and beyond. This episode includes Arjun's famous battle with the Mountain Man. He doesn't come out of the fight very well-- Shiva crushes him into a meatball and ends the fight. I like to think that he killed Arjun and then revived him and sent him on to Heaven, but the text is a bit vague; did he just get crushed, lose his eyesight and cease breathing? Or did he go all the way and die on us? Either way, he's sent off to his dad's kingdom up in...
Topics: Indra, Mountain Man, Shiva
It seems like Yuddistira always had a secret desire to give up the world and live like a sadhu. But now he has a pretty good justification-- after all, he even killed his elder brother. Crimes like this demand extreme penance, and Yuddistira would like nothing better than to embrace that lifestyle. No one else agrees with the new king however, and his brothers, Krishna, and the Rishis all take turns trying to convince him that the best use of his life would be to take up the crown and rule,...
Topics: Narada, Parvata, Suvarnashthivin
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
293
0
0
The second day of battle comes and goes. If the first day went to the Kauravas, the 2nd day certainly belonged to the Pandavas. The day ends with Bhimasena and Arjun dominating the field, and the Kaurava soldiers crapping their pants. The cream of Kalinga manhood has been exterminated on the field, and even their enemies are forced to admire the way the two brothers cleared the field of all comers. Lots more people died, but so far, not much has been accomplished. Maybe day 3 will go better? I...
Topics: Kurukshetra, Kalinga, Arjuna, Bhimasena
This is the final piece that brings us around, back to the beginning. We covered some of this territory before, back in Episode 2, but at the time, it was hard to explain that Parikshit was Arjun's grandson and that Takshaka had an ancient feud with the dynasty going back to the fire at the Khandava Forest. Also, back then we were anxious to get going with the story itself, and all the digressions with angry brahmins and talking snakes only made things confusing at the time. So now we have...
Topics: Astika, Janemejaya, Parikshit, Takshaka, Ugrashravas, Vaishampayana, Vasuki
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
301
0
0
Bhisma finishes bringing us up-to-date on who Sikhandin is, who he used to be, and why Bhisma won't fight him. This also finishes the Udyoga Parva; the Book of the Effort. Next time, we start in on the Bhisma Parva, the first of the eight Battle Books. Don't assume that the war is about to start, just because we end off on the dawn of the first day of the war. We still have a lengthy introduction in the Bhisma Parva, and then there is the Bhagavad Gita, which will take a few episodes-- we don't...
Topics: Amba, Sikhandin, Sikhandi
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
393
0
0
At the end of the First Dice Game, it really seemed like King Dhritarastra had put everything back the way it was. He restored the Pandava's freedom, titles and wealth. Unfortunately, Bhima had sworn some pretty serious oaths to kill his cousins, and cousin Duryodhana was too filled with hate and fear to allow things to be left the way they were. The blind king then ordered Yuddistira to return for one final round of dice. The loser would give up his possessions and retire to the forest for 12...
Topics: Draupadi, Krishna, Duryodhana, Dushasan
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
346
0
0
The Pandavas journey south, out of the Himalayas and back to the plains. Along the way, Bhima goes hunting and finds himself captured by a giant magical snake. The Snake takes his time and tells Bhima his life story before proceeding to eat the hero. Meanwhile, Yuddistira sees dark omens and heads off to look for his brother on his own. For the purposes of the later story, Arjun stays at home and Yuddistira does the rescuing. When Yuddistira gets to the scene, Bhima tells him what is going on,...
Topics: Kanyaka forest, Krishna, Markandeya, Nahusha, Narada, Pradyumna, Satyabhama
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
23,852
2
2
I'm excited to announce that the first episode of my podcast about the Mahabharata is now available. There are more episodes to come shortly. This one is just a brief introduction to let you know what this project is all about.
( 2 reviews )
Topics: Ancient India, Epic, Mahabharata, Podcast, India, Mahabharat
Karna begins the 17th day of the war by fighting each Pandava except Arjun. He is actually defeated by both Yuddistira and Bhima, but then he defeats Nakul and Sahadev. Both of the elder brothers spare his life, out of consideration for Arjun's oaths. Yuddistira then goes for a second round with Karna, but this time it doesn't work out so well. Karna defeats Yuddistira and nearly captures him, but he reconsiders and lets the Pandava go. Yuddistira then flees to his camp to have his wounds...
Topics: Arjun, Krishna, Yudhistira
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
513
0
0
This is the final installment of the "Krishna Episodes", where I've covered Krishna's back story up to and beyond the point when the Pandavas met him in Panchala. There are still some interesting details in the Bhagavata Purana which I want to compare with later events in the Mahabharata, so I'm not completely done with that book, but for the upcoming episodes, we'll get back to the Mahabharata and see what the Pandavas do next.
Topics: Balarama, Jarasandh, Krishna, Rukmi, Rukmini, Sishupal
While Krishna is still hanging out at the camp, the sages Narada and Markandeya show up. After some prodding, Markandeya finally opens up and gives us his take on reincarnation, sin and the afterlife. He follows that up with two stories about Brahmins, and then gives us his rendition of the Fish, Manu, and the Flood. I also present my theory that the five Pandavas are somehow correllated with the five extremities of the human body. Yuddistira is clearly the head, while Bhima is associated with...
Topic: Markandeya
This episode covers the marriage of the three princes Dhritarastra, Pandu and Vidura. Here's the map I promised of India during the time of the Mahabharata. What's important to notice is that first, the Kuru nation was in a very central location and must have been very important in the politics of the age. The Himalaya mountains acted as an enormous bulwark, keeping each kingdom safe from attack from the north. Thus the marriage alliances seemingly secured peace with neighbors to the west and...
Topics: Arjuna, Bhima, Bhimasena, Duryodhana, Ghandara, Ghandari, Kauravas, Kunti, Madri, Nakula, Pandavas,...
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
316
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Yuddistira is finally convinced that he should remain king, and he gets down to business. He marches straight to the palace and has himself anointed and consecrated. He appoints his council and gets his kingdom in order. As soon as he has a chance to catch his breath, Krishna suggests that they hurry over to uncle Bhisma, who isn't long for this world. Along the way, Krishna tells the story of Battleaxe Rama, who wiped out the race of Kshatriyas 21 times in succession. The podcast may be taking...
Topics: Bhisma, Charvaka, Krishna, Parashurama, Rama Jamadagnya
It is the morning of the first day of battle. Already Krishna has revealed his great song to Arjuna, and now there are some final formalities, as Yuddistira runs to his elders on the enemy side for their blessings. Krishan tags along and tries to tempt Karna over to the Pandava side, just until Bhisma is dead. It must have been tempting, since it would have given him the chance to even kill the old bugger. But Karna is too loyal to go for such an under-handed thing. He turns Krishna down...
Topics: Kurukshetra, Yuyutsu
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
462
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0
This is a big one; this episode covers the tangled details of the incident that sets off the rest of the story. At the heart of it, it is about Duryodhana and Shakuni cheating at dice to win from the Pandavas all their possessions and even their freedom. That much is clear, and the match culminates in the deliberate humiliation of Draupadi before the court. Bhima swears oaths to kill both Duryodhana and his younger brother Dushasan, and the future conflict all arises from the fears and hatred...
Topics: Dice Game, Yudhistira, Kaurava, Duryodhana, Shakuni
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
338
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0
This one starts with some girl talk. Draupadi and Satyabhama get bored of Markandeya's endless mythologies, and sneak off for a more private conversation. Satyabhama wants to know how Draupadi maintains her hold over all five husbands. Draupadi then advises us on the behaviors a woman should perform to keep her husband from straying to other women's beds. Krishna too finally gets bored of Markandeya and decides it is time to head for home. He loads up the wife and they head out. If he knew of...
Topics: Draupadi, Satyabhama
Two more stories from the Sage Markandeya. The first is a rousing fight story, where the king of Ayodhya gets super powers from the god Vishnu and defeats a dragon. I find the second story more interesting. Yuddistira wants to know about the specific problems that women and servants must have in following their dharma. Markandeya replies with a story about a short-tempered Brahmin Kaushika, who encounters a particularly wise peasant woman, whose devotion to her husband grants her great wisdom...
Topics: butcher, Kaushika
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
463
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0
This episode, Yuddistira gets it into his head that he should be King of the World! As he has been inclined to do since becoming king, he calls for Krishna to advise him on how to accomplish this task. Krishna tells him to send Bhima and Arjun to Magadha and get rid of his main rival to the imperial title, King Jarasandh. And so, Krishna, Bhima and Arjun go down to Magadha and pick a fight with Jarasandh. Bhima wrestles the old guy for fourteen days and finally body-slams him, killing him...
Topics: Jarasandh, Magadha, Bhima, Krishna
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
782
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In this episode, Bhisma's extreme oath comes back to bite them all, when both his brothers die childless and there is no one to continue the Dynasty. But never fear, because Satyavati has another son, the very author of this story, and he can step in from time to time to set things right. In this case, he gives us the three brothers, blind, pale & bastard! Please visit my site - http://www.mahabharatapodcast.com/, and leave comments, I'm interested to hear your feedback!
Topics: Bhisma, Dhritarastra, Pandu, Santanu, Satyavati, Vidur, Vidura
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
403
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0
We begin this episode with the tale of Krishna's adventures when he might otherwise have helped his friends in their distress. At least he got a few good fight scenes out of it, including his son Pradyumna performing heroic feats defending Dwarka, and a ground-to-air battle with a flying city! When Krishna is done with his exciting tale, the allies pack up and head for home. The tacit understanding seems to be that they will wait until the 13 years are up and only then will they come up with a...
Topics: Saubha Vimana, Shalva, Vimana
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
469
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0
The Pandavas range the Four Directions and conquer the world, bringing home mountains of treasure. Soon after, the Rajasuya Sacrifice commences. Krishna is given the top honor among the guests and this causes a tumult of disgruntled kings and nobles. They point out the problem that has become apparent in the story, which is that Krishna is a nobody in terms of societal ranking. He's a former cowherder from a caste of shudras who claims his father is a prince (alas, there were no witnesses to...
Topics: Krishna, Rajasuya, Rukmi, Rukmini, Sishupal
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
2,647
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I've put together my review of the epic, in its totality. I discuss the strange way in which the epic goes into fine detail on some parts of the story, and breezes over others. Some of the most critical moments in the story, like when Dhrtarastra was skipped and then later made king, or during the dice game, or in dealing with the birth & death of Krishna, the story is ambiguous and full of holes. The only explanation that I can come up with is that the author himself may not have known...
Topics: Bhakti, Channeling, False Vasudev, Karma Yoga, Krishna, Vyasa
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
2,013
1
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The story begins. In this episode I describe how the Mahabharata begins, with the storyteller Ugrasravas telling the hermits in the forest about the great Snake Sacrifice of King Janamejaya, and how Vyasa's composition was told during the festivities.
Topics: Janamejaya, Mahabharata, Naimisha Forest, Snake Sacrifice, Ugrasravas
Earlier in day 15, Drona is killed by Dhrstadyumna. The Kaurava army literally comes unraveled until Ashwatthaman hears the news. The boy is outraged at the way his father was treated and swears revenge on both Dhrstadyumna (for killing him), and Yuddistira (for betraying his trust). Drona's son then pulls the army together and rushes to battle waving his WMD. First he tries to use the Narayana weapon, but Krishna is too tricky for that-- he knows its weakness, which is that it is ineffective...
Topics: Agneya, Ashwatthaman, Dhrstadyumna, Nar-Narayan, Narayana
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
298
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0
As if intending to seal his fate, Duryodhana warms up the Pandavas by sending over an odious gambler Uluka as a messenger to goad them into fighting. Then Bhisma kindly gives us an inventory of the fighters who will take place in the coming battle. There are a bunch of guys who I've never heard of, and do not seem to have any important role to play in the story, so I've left them out, trying to keep the cast of characters under control. As for the rest, they are all rated between Rathas and...
Topic: Uluka
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
370
0
0
The white horse returns home, only to be tied to a post, killed, & cut up into little pieces. The priests do their best to follow the old rules, but there's no way Draupadi is going to pretend to copulate with a dead horse! Jump ahead 15 years and Dhrtarastra finally decides to take leave of worldly cares, and he, Gandhari, & Kunti leave for a forest ashram. One year after that, the Pandavas and many citizens pay a visit to the old folks, where Vyasa allows them all to re-unite with...
Topics: Ashwamedha, Dhrtarastra, Durvasas, Kunti, Satayupa, Vyasa
This concludes Krishna's dialog with Arjun about Dharma, Bhakti, Yoga, and the Gunas. During the course of this, Arjun is granted divine sight, and is able to catch a glimpse of Krishna's true appearance; it nearly blows his mind. Getting back to Arjun's original question-- Does Arjun's Dharma really require him to kill his relatives and gurus? and how can this can be a good thing? It seems like a lot of Krishna's teaching is addressed to posterity, because advice to meditate more often isn't...
Topics: Bhagavad Gita, Gunas
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
360
0
0
These are the last three stories of the long series of tales in the Book of the Forest. The Pandavas are finishing up their pilgrimage across India and are moving northward for their rendezvous with Arjun. The first story, Yavakrita, is particularly interesting in that the protagonist is not a Twice-born. In this case, he's a rude and uppity Vaishya, but he's the main character nonetheless. I find the little detail about the Shudra gaurd particularly interesting. He works for Yavakri's father,...
Topics: Buddhism, Jantu, Yavakri, Yavakrita
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
320
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0
News of Kicaka's death reaches the neighboring kingdoms, and precipitates an attack from the Trigartas and the Kauravas. Virata sends his entire force against the Trigartas and leaves the rest of the country open for the Kuru's sneak attack. Kanka, Balava and the twins are all recuited into the army, but Brhannala is left at home. Thus, it is up to the young crown prince and the eunuch to rescue the kingdom from invasion. As they are riding out to meet the Kurus, the 13th year of exile comes to...
Topics: Susharman, Trigarta
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
681
0
2
This episode covers the Pandava's departure for the forest and the initial fears of theKauravas as they considered what they had done. As things washed out, only the five brothers, Draupadi and a gaggle of Brahmins went into the forest. Yuddistira did some yoga and some austerities and memorized the 108 names of Surya, and was able to get the Sun God to give him the ability to magically feed everyone while they were in the forest. Please leave comments at iTunes. The more the better! Thanks!
( 2 reviews )
Topics: Aranyaka Parva, Pandavas, Draupadi, Surya
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
544
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0
This episode is about Krishna's spectacular entry into international politics. Having established his manhood by cuckolding the entire tribe of cowherders, Krishna returns to Mathura to get his revenge on Kamsa. Killing Kamsa has repercussions, however, because Kamsa had a powerful ally in King Jarasandh. Krishna ends up killing more than 130 million soldiers as he defeated 17 armies raised by Jarasandh and an 18th army belonging to the Black Greek. You'd think there were no soldiers left in...
Topics: Kamsa, Krishna, Balaram, Ugrasena
I present my wild theories and hypotheses about the Mahabharata. Among other things, we discuss its relationship to the Precession of the Equinoxes and the Yuga cycle as defined by Markandeya and Sri Yukteshvar. We look into the role of magic in the story and our prospects for regaining this lost knowledge in the future. We delve into the mystery of the metaphysical origins of the Pandavas and consider whether the five brothers might have originally been based on just a single hero-- the...
Topics: Joseph Selbie, Markandeya, Precession, proto-Arjun, Sri Yukteshvar, The Yugas
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
521
0
0
So this is it-- the final installment from the Mahabharata. Book 18, the Svargarohanika Parva, is done, and the 18 parvas of the Mahabharata are now complete. Please be sure to visit my blog and let me know you made it! And then treat yourself to something nice, because you have really accomplished something. We've reached the end of the story, but this isn't quite the end of the podcast. You can expect a few more episodes-- an epilogue where the story is carried forward up to the time of the...
Topic: Svargarohanika Parva
This episode covers the final day of the great war. If you were expecting things to go out with a bang, you'll be disappointed. Once the Kaurava general Shalya is killed, things just sort of disintegrate. Duryodhana's remaining brothers are all killed. Shakuni is killed. Karna's sons are exterminated. The Pandavas make one final sweep over the field, killing literally everyone who was left standing. They spend the rest of the day sifting through the corpses in search of Duryodhana. By this...
Topics: Duryodhana, Yuyutsu
I know it feels like this war is really dragging on; but I think that is precisely how Vyasa wanted us to feel by this point in the battle. We are all getting tired of the unending violence. Even the main cause of all the violence, Bhisma, is getting tired of this, and he has begun looking for a way out. On day 9, the old Kuru apparently relieved himself of the last of his commitments, which was to wipe out the army of the Saumakas. Now the only thing left for him to do was to find the most...
Topics: Kurukshetra, Bhisma, Saumakas, Pandavas, Arjun, Sikhandin
Bhisma is out of commission, and his book is nearly over. In one last scene, Karna comes to meet his fallen nemesis. Bhisma is quite affectionate toward his prodigal nephew, and he tells him that he was only pretending to be antagonistic. He really didn't mean it, he just wanted to discourage Karna from enabling Duryodhana's evil ways. Bhisma begs Karna to forget his grievances and to join with his brothers and end the war this moment. But Karna is too far gone. He owes Duryodhana too much, and...
Topic: Drona Parva
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
299
0
0
We begin the Book of Peace, the Shanti Parva. After boasting to his uncle about his special clairvoyant powers, Yuddistira is blindsided by the news that he & Karna shared the same mother. Now the Dharma Raja has learned that he killed his own brother-- aside from killing one's parents, perhaps one of the worst things a person could do. The brothers spend a month outside in the city walls as a sort of penance, and are joined by the great sages of the ancient world. Narada comforts the...
Topics: Karna, Parashurama, Rama Jamadagnya
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
328
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0
The Pandavas send away their hangers-on, and enter hiding at the kingdom of the Matsyas, in the service of King Virata. Things go well for the first 10 months, but then the king's brother-in-law gets smitten with the Queen's new serving girl. Kicaka takes his infatuation a little too far, and Bhima ends up restoring her virtue the hard way. By the end of this ordeal, everyone is terrified of Draupadi and her Gandharva husbands. King Virata is so frightened of her that he sends the queen to beg...
Topics: Kicaka, Sudeshna, Virata
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
366
0
0
The Pandavas continue their pilgrimage to all the holy sites of India. With Lomasha as their guide & storyteller, they hear the stories of Rshyashrnga and then the story of Rama Jamadagnya, or "Battle-Axe" Rama, who cut his own mother's head off and single-handedly killed off the entire race of Kshatriyas 21 times! Also, J.A.B. Van Buitenen, our translator for most of the podcast so far, gives us a hypothesis that the story of Rshyashrnga made its way to Medieval Europe in the...
Topics: Parashurama, Rama Jamadagnya, Rshyashrnga
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
342
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0
We finish off the Book of the Forest with a couple of the more famous vignettes from the epic. The first is the classic tale in which Karna is forewarned that Indra will come to beg from him his magical armor & earrings, but Karna refuses to prevent it. He lives up to his claim of complete generosity and literally flays the armor off of his body and hands it all over to Indra. Since transactions with Gods usually go both ways, Karna for his part demanded the "Never-failing Spear",...
Topics: Karna, Yaksha
Mahabharata Podcast
364
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0
For some reason, the first three full-fledged stories from the Anusasana Parva all center around a Banian tree. They also share the theme of low-caste hunters and their cruelty. Remarkably, in the 2nd story the three characters are all saved, but all three die violently. In the 3rd story, the Brahmin Gautama is an unreformed scoundrel, but he is brought back to life! NOTE: I ran out of allotted space on my ISP, so this audio file got truncated. I've modified this post to point to another site:...
Topics: Gautama, Rajadharman, Virupaksha
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
291
0
0
Bhisma begins telling the story of Amba/Sikhandin-- the only person, barring the Pandavas, whom he will not fight in the coming battle. The reason for this is that Sikhandin had once been a female. She was not just any female at that-- she was Draupadi's sister, and in her past life, she'd had a bad run-in with Bhisma, making her his sworn enemy from beyond the grave. We begin the story with Amba's abduction, along with her sisters Ambika and Ambalika, by Bhisma to provide wives for his...
Topics: Amba, Rama Jamadagnya
Mahabharata Podcast
- Lawrence Manzo
324
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0
The third and fourth days of the great war. It seems like the tide may be turning somewhat, since both days of fighting were dominated by Arjun and Bhimasena. Despite having the honor of receiving Krishna's teaching firsthand, Arjun still seems to be holding back somewhat. His lassitude gets so bad that Krishna finally gets annoyed with him, and takes matters in his own hands. Contrary to the way I've always heard the story told, Krishna does not take any consideration for his oath not to...
Topics: Kurukshetra, Arjun, Bhima, Krishna, Abhimanyu